Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dan Moser Column: May is National Bike Month: Get out and ride with purpose

Florida Weekly, May 9, 2011
This week's column focuses on activities to mark National Bike Month, the Ride of Silence, some upcoming runs, and an update on the Burton Park/Del Prado pedestrian safety issue.

It’s May and it’s getting hot, but the daily thunderstorms won’t begin for a while. Before they do, get out and ride your bike. And make it a trip you’d usually take by car. If you’ve been doing that as part of “Taking it to the Streets,” keep it up. Combine transit and cycling to maximize the benefits.

Unfortunately, National Bike Month takes place at a time of year that isn’t quite as attractive as it might be up north for first time bike commuters or others who don’t regularly ride, but it’s still decent enough to give it a shot. (the Florida Bicycle Association and other organizations had previously been able to get March designated as Florida Bike Month but our current elected leadership doesn’t seem interested.) The Lee County Board of County Commissioners recognized National Bike Month in a resolution at its May 1 meeting, something they do each year, as do other local governments.

Some area activities during the month include Ride of Silence, a slow and quiet ride meant to commemorate those who died or were seriously injured while cycling. Rides of Silence take place throughout the world on Wednesday May 16. There are a few being held in Southwest Florida, with the Fort Myers ride beginning at Centennial Park at 7 p.m. Sanibel and Bonita Bay also take part. A full listing can be found at

Caloosa Riders being prepped for a photo shoot by photographer Andrew West at John Yarbrough Linear Park. Caloosa Riders being prepped for a photo shoot by photographer Andrew West at John Yarbrough Linear Park.  

The League of American Bicyclists ( has designated Friday, May 18, as the official “Bike to Work Day.” The idea is to encourage everyone to give it a shot that day, especially those who already make some trips on their bikes and who are thinking about taking the next step: commuting to work by bicycle. If you’re a candidate and need some route suggestions or other advice, feel free to contact me at

Other events
After my last column about trail running I received an e-mail from the executive director of the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed, who informed me of the organization’s inaugural 10K Adventure Trail Run to be held on Nov. 3. It’ll be a bare-bones event with no T-shirts or other usual race paraphernalia so it is being billed as a “back to nature” event. In fact, there’ll only be water refill stations for runners to re-supply their own bottles so litter and the expense of cups isn’t an issue. It’s also noted that the term “adventure” really means wet and muddy. I like it! Plan to support this event and cause. CREW is located near the Lee-Collier line not far from Immokalee. For more information, visit

Another run that takes place off the pavement that’s coming up much sooner is the annual Memorial Day Run on the Green. The race is run on the back nine of Eastwood Golf Course, next to the Calusa Nature Center. And since runners will be right next door, why not visit the nature center’s trails, boardwalks, rescued wildlife facility and other offerings? If you haven’t been there for a while, or, for that matter, ever visited, Memorial Day would be a great time to experience this oasis of nature and calm in the middle of the prime example of major suburban sprawl that is the Colonial/ Ortiz/Six Mile/I-75/Forum area.

Advocacy update
The city of Cape Coral and many residents and safety advocates continue to press the Lee County Department of Transportation to make crossing Del Prado safe for pedestrians using Burton Park. LCDOT is balking at installing a full-fledged traffic signal at the intersection that’s closest to the park, citing lack of warrant (a technical term meaning not enough vehicles are coming from the street intersecting Del Prado). But its latest offer to install a mid block signal designed specifically to accommodate pedestrian crossing — a HAWK — looks promising. BikeWalkLee’s online blog ( is the place to go for updates on this and other such matters.
Until next time, I’ll look for you on the roads and trails.

— Dan Moser is a league cycling and CyclingSavvy instructor/ trainer and programs director for the Florida Bicy cle Association who cycles, runs and walks regularly for transportation, recreation and fitness. He can be contacted at or 334- 6417.

1 comment:

  1. Wow that is great! I set out on a journey to bicycle across Florida at the beginning of this month and did not even know that it was National Bicycle month! I started out in Tallahassee, Fl and am on my way to Miami. Thanks so much for this information! I feel like I am in sync with the universe.


BikeWalkLee is not responsible for the validity of any comment posted at this site and has the right to remove any comment at any time.